Everton left-back Lucas Digne has hinted that he is forced to leave the club after falling out with Rafael Benitez over team tactics. The Frenchman is close to leaving Goodison Park and is set to join Aston Villa after the Spanish boss suggested that the defender was putting himself before the team.
Lucas Digne joined Everton in the summer of 2018 from Barcelona for an initial fee of £18 million and has since established himself as a key player in the squad. Not only that, he has consistently proved his attacking prowess in the Premier League in recent years. Yet, while injuries and various other issues have affected him, the Frenchman still made 127 appearances for the Merseyside club while scoring six goals and registering 20 assists across all competitions.
However, the 28-year-old is now heading for the exits after falling out with Everton boss Rafael Benitez over team tactics. The Spaniard had suggested that Digne was focused on himself rather than concentrating on the team's efforts and had subsequently sidelined him from the starting lineup since the 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool on December 1.
Now reports have indicated that Aston Villa have secured Digne's signature as they beat out competition from the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham and the Frenchman is expected to undergo his medical to finalize the transfer. Digne expressed his delight at serving the Everton faithful while hinting that Benitez forced him to leave Goodison Park.
"Thank you for three-and-a-half years in blue. From day one the Evertonians have received me with a lot of warm feelings, and I am forever thankful for that. I have loved to be a part of the Everton family. I have always worked hard to give back to the fans on and off the pitch. Only one year ago I signed a new contract with the ambition of staying in this club for a long time,” Digne said in an Instagram post.
“Everything must come to an end. I just did not expect it to end this way. But I will not enter a war on words with anyone. Sometimes it only takes one person from outside to destroy a beautiful love affair,” he added.
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